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Articles | Featured | Future

BEST OF / YEAR END

Jerome Wilson's Best Releases Of 2018

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It may be unwieldy to keep a large jazz ensemble together for economic reasons but this year was still full of outstanding big band recordings, whether done through commissions, arrangers working with established orchestras or even actual working ensembles. Several of the releases on my list are examples of that. Also this year had the usual strong statements from younger, up-and-coming musicians as well as greybeards like Charles Lloyd and Wayne Shorter who proved that creative genius does not fade ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Garcia: Drum Solos For Dancers Only

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There's more than enough artistry, craftsmanship and ingenuity in Rob Garcia's Drum Solos For Dancers Only to please the sedentary jazz aficionado. Although the thirteen tracks are intended to spur bodies in motion, his drumming merits scrutiny on purely musical terms. For the most part Garcia executes swinging rhythms much like the ones that drove the popular big bands of the 1930s and 40s and wraps them in themes that include symmetrical, easily recognizable song forms. Some of his compositions ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

John Sharpe's Best Releases Of 2018

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Here are 12 new releases which stood out among the 200 or so discs that I heard this year, in no particular order. It's worth noting that Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii set herself the challenge to release a CD every month during 2018, to mark the milestone of her 60th birthday. Her output has been so remarkably consistent that a whole Year End list could be given over to her alone. I've reluctantly restricted myself to just two.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo: Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura

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Satoko Fujii closes out the celebration of her sixtieth birthday with her final monthly album of 2018, Kikoeru: Tribute to Masaya Kimura. This album is more than a celebration of one life; it's a cathartic, full-circle tribute to lives that have touched the composer and been integral to her music. This sixth recording from Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo is the most powerful and accessible entry from the collective. Except for two changes in the reed and brass sections, and the absence ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ideas Of Noise 2018

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Ideas Of Noise The Edge & Vivid Projects Birmingham, England August 3-5, 2018 Noise isn't really noise. Much of this weekender's content was somewhat sculpted, even if often rough (or scaly, or oozing) to the touch. A 'noise' outcome is usually in the eardrum of the victim, as interpreted by prior taste. The first edition of this festival operated in such a manner that it could easily lure listeners who held ostensible ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Anker / Thomas / Flaten / Solberg: His Flight's At Ten

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Perhaps the title refers to British pianist Pat Thomas' travel schedule. If so it will be a situation that he is all too familiar with, as strangely his reputation appears greater in Europe than at home, in spite of an extensive discography and collaborations with a who's who of contemporary experimental music. His Flight's At Ten presents him in the company of three stellar Scandinavian improvisers on a set recorded at the 2016 edition of Oslo's Blow Out! ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Erik Palmberg: First Lines

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With his glowing, congenial sound, a straight-ahead, uncluttered reading of Irving Berlin's “How Deep Is The Ocean" introduces the listener to Swedish trumpeter Erik Palmberg's unfussy, eleven song debut, First Lines. First Lines is a traditional session rather than a raucously modern one, more tempered then let-loose-the-reins. Yet the mix of eight originals and two other American cornerstones finds Palmberg and his partners, pianist Anton Dromberg, drummer Gustav Nahlin, and bassist Peder Waern, articulate and sensitive to their ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alexander von Schlippenbach / Aki Takase: Live At Cafe Amores

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The Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint has unearthed another gem from the vaults of the Japanese Chap Chap label. Live At Cafe Amores represents the third duet recording from the husband-and-wife pairing of pianists Alexander von Schlippenbach and Aki Takase, but the first where they share the same instrument. Such a situation was perhaps only possible for an entire concert because of their already strong relationship. But the supposed limitation of four hands at one keyboard doesn't constrain, so much as promote, ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Arturo Sandoval: Scoring Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule”

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Trumpet legend and 10-time Grammy winner, Arturo Sandoval was recently personally selected by Hollywood legend--and noted musician and composer--Clint Eastwood to compose the soundtrack for Eastwood's eagerly-awaited and newly released motion picture, The Mule. Both the film and soundtrack have received rave reviews. The Maestro joined All About Jazz to discuss the project. All About Jazz: Maestro, on behalf of All About Jazz, thank you for taking time to speak with us about your composing the soundtrack for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Serendip: The Tale

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The group Serendip has a common jazz ensemble format: saxophone/guitar/bass/drums. But the music they make is anything but common. With The Tale--music that takes its inspiration from the ancient Persian story The Three Princes of Serendip--Belgian-born and now London-based tenor saxophonist Arnaud Guichard has sculpted a compelling spiritual narrative for his quartet. The disc begins with a trio of tunes entitled “Prince One," “Prince Two" and “Prince Three." The sounds begin with a roaming, placid atmosphere featuring minimalist ...